T'other Friday my good self and the infamous Roadhawk the Cosmic Knight went on a jolly to see the legendary space rockers Hawkwind in concert. For those of you who don't know, Hawkwind are one of the longest running psychedelic rock bands in existence who over the years have unleashed albun after album charting the depths of both inner and outer space. Since forming in the pre-Cambrian Period, Hawkwind have set loose Lemmy on an unsuspecting world, counted legendary author Michael Moorcock as one of their number and worked with personalities diverse as Arthur Brown, Samatha Fox and Matthew 'The Wright Stuff' Wright. They have inspired countless bands and fried innumerable brain cells. And the current line up features Tim Blake, aka Moonweed, from the equally legendary Gong, on keyboards and theremin.
Now I've seen Hawkwind several times in the past (to be honest I'm not sure how many times exactly - I've killed alot of brain cells over the years), and Roadhawk always visits this plane of existence when they play, so we pretty much knew what to expect. Pyschedelic light show - check. Backdrop projecting cosmic imagery - check. Mime artists - check. Dave Brock looking pretty chipper despte being at least several aeons old - check. However this gig wasn't just business as usual as the 'Wind delivered the best set I've ever seen them do.
Opening with a blistering extended version of 'Masters of the Universe', and then blasting out a fantastic tour through their discography, Captain Brock and co were on tip top form. The current five-piece line up really allows them to play spectacular versions of most famous tunes, building full-on swirling walls of noise shot through with spiralling melodies. This performance not only underscored how epic Hawkwind are in their music, but also how marvellously anthemic so many of their compositions are. Old favourites like 'Damnation Alley' and 'Assualt and Battery' had the crowd joyfully singing along, and the final song of the two hour set "Silver Machine" really blew the roof off.
The guys are really on top form at the moment and if you've seen before, then catch them again now! And if you are new to Hawkwind but love pyschedelia and storming guitars, then I heartily urge you to grab some of their records and rush out and see them now. Ok they have been going a long long time but this is not some dinosaur band - oh no, Hawkwind are DRAGONS!